My training has been going pretty well so far. Since the beginning of April I have managed to swim three times a week for an hour and have averaged over 2000m at a session. I usually break the session up into warm up and drills, but try to get one long uninterrupted swim in each week. The outdoor pool opened here in Guildford on the 30th and I have been several times – the air temperature is a tad bracing, but the water is heated to a very civilised 22 degrees. I got one of the other hardy swimmers to take a snap to prove I was wearing The Hat. I am not sure anyone noticed it, but if it is distracting attention from The Body I am happy!
So today I had a light breakfast before a lovely morning swim at the Lido. My plan was to do 2400m, one and a half miles, but I lost count of my lengths a bit and when I got out, discovered that my fitness tracker said I had swum 2900, which is my best effort so far. So by the time I got home I was ravenous and felt I could justify a second breakfast!
My plan for the day was to go and try on wetsuits at a couple of specialist stores. I phoned Sigma Sports in Kingston and they had had a run on Large Ladies wetsuits over the weekend, so had nothing in stock, but will get some in for me to try at the end of the week. Mailsport in Bourne End had a couple though, so I jumped into the car and headed over to Buckinghamshire to see them in the afternoon.
Trying on wetsuits is pretty energetic and involves more contortion and grunting than I had expected. And I was so hot and hardly able to breathe once Alan, the kind assistant had done up the zip – I couldn’t imagine walking far, let alone swimming in one!
So he suggested I went along to one of their demo sessions so I could try the suit in water. Seemed a great idea, when was the next session, I enquired? Turned out to be at six this evening. It was not really worth going home, so I went and scrounged a cup of tea and a swimming hat off a nearby friend and drove in torrential rain round the M25 to Heron Lakes. This is a surprising place – lovely clean water, and a haven for waterbirds I expect. It is, however, right beside the motorway, and trucks go rumbling by above you as you swim, bizarre but rather fun. It was raining as I arrived, but only gently and the handful of people at the clubhouse were unfazed by the weather or the traffic.
The Zone3 wetsuit rep was quite happy to hand over a suit to a newbie, a nice lady in the changing room zipped me up and a friendly guy by the lake took my fiver. Alan from Mailsports talked me through the routes and a bloke in a kayak escorted me for the first couple of hundred meters and, rather to my surprise, and with no fanfare at all, I found myself alone in the water and swimming away. In a Lake!! Under a Motorway!! Like that was a normal thing to do on a Monday evening!!
It was fab.
The water was 13 degrees, and I was toasty warm in the wetsuit. I did two circuits of the 500m course, with a fair bit of zigzagging due to rubbish sighting skills, which I reckon adds up to 1100m and brings me to an entirely unintended 4km for the day. My arms may feel like bits of wet string tomorrow, but today was a very good day.